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In Too Deep

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Rizzoli was too Italian to even think about passing for Irish, when the case came up. Someone in O'Rourke's gang had wanted to turn state's evidence against both the larger Irish mobs in town. Unfortunately, he'd wound up dead, with one plain clothes in ICU and the uniformed cop permanently disabled.

The plain clothes had been her former partner, Korsak, who had been around the last time the Irish mobs had spiraled into levels of violence that had made Boston reel. That made it personal, and had her demanding a chance to work on the case that fell under vice, homicide, and organized crime.

Jane Rizzoli usually got what she wanted, even if she had to come up with a game plan that was as deep undercover as anyone had ever dared go with either side of the Irish Gang War.

`~`~`~`~`

The hardest part wasn't remembering to simper at the boy, because really, Colin was younger and acted it. No, the hardest part of getting close to the Doyles and staying there was in keeping Colin's attention. It wasn't that he was attention deficit either, Jane noted. It boiled down to the fact Colin was a genius, and nothing in life really could slow him down or make him pay attention long enough to be worth his time.

That made getting close, even once Jane had found him in one of the Irish bars, harder than hell. She played it cool, getting to know him through one of his associates, then opening up the possibility of a pass being acceptable as a few nights had gone by.

He never even saw it, and Jane was being pushed by the Captain to come up with a better way of getting someone else into play.

That was when Fate smiled on Jane Rizzoli.

`~`~`~`~`

The gunshots ringing out made Jane have to fight the urge to reach for a gun she wasn't wearing, and then look for cover. She saw a woman she had noticed a few times, one who liked to talk until whomever was with her walked away in non-understanding, not moving fast enough for Jane's liking, and moved that way, grabbing the talker and pulling her down.

"It's really not necessary. Did you know, statistically speaking, random gun violence is less deadly than..."

Jane didn't care, and rewarded the other woman with a look of 'shut-up now' not a second before a bullet sent the man who had been very near the talker's place to the floor in a cry of pain and a spray of too-bright blood.

"Oh..." was the woman's response, as if she couldn't quite comprehend that she had just barely escaped severe injury. Then the talker was moving, and Jane had to wonder if she was somehow insane... until the talker was trying to treat the bullet wound.

"Hey, you... you could get hurt!" Jane managed, but she moved out, scanning for the attacker just in time to see the heavies that normally followed Colin in here taking the man down with sheer brute force... and out of the bar. Jane did all she could to memorize details, seeing as much of the gunman's face as she could from this angle, and what kind of gun it had been.

"I know what I am doing." The talker brought Jane's attention back around to the situation at hand. "I need you to help me with him. He's a friend of my dad's and he can't wait for an ambulance."

Jane's nerves pricked on the way the woman said that, watching as a pressure bandage was expertly placed. "Say I am willing to help you, and we do move him. He could die, and then the cops might come hunting me," she said, playing her hunch.

The talker looked up at her, and shook her head. "The police will not have anything to do with anyone here tonight. All you have to do is help me get him out of here, and then you can leave."

Jane's ears puzzled at the woman's speech pattern. Maybe, just maybe she had a little bit of the patterning that the Irish tended to have. "We better get moving, then. Because I think I hear sirens, and I don't want that kind of attention."

"Good." The talker smiled, then held out a hand that had managed to not get blood-stained. "Maura Doyle."

"Jane Russo," Jane said readily enough, shaking quickly, and then getting the man's upper body under her control. The blood did get on her, but that was okay. Once Jane was free to get free, it might be helpful to the case. The name was near enough to her own to be easily remembered, and had a good, heavy background already built by the Department. Including, as Jane had insisted, a few charges and bargain deals on minor crimes to make her 'dirty' enough to work.

"Follow me," the sister of Jane's original target ordered, and Jane wondered if she'd be able to play this new gambit more successfully.

`~`~`~`~`

Frost's pencil kept tapping on the desk as he read over the reports. Now that Jane had acquired an in, it was going to be harder to get information. She'd brought the bloody clothes from the club to them as soon as she thought she could, and given them everything she had witnessed, but apparently the loquacious Maura Doyle had taken a shine to her company.

"Rizzoli, stay safe," Frost muttered under his breath. It had been two weeks since the shooting, and from what surveillance he'd managed, and the brief texts Jane had sent in all said that Jane had become something of a protector for Maura, but she still hadn't seen anything that would help them break either side of the mob.

Frost just worried it wouldn't break until it all blew up, and Jane would be in the middle of it all. He would just have to hope that he was right there to help her pull it all off, or Korsak was going to kick his ass.

`~`~`~`~`

Maura watched as Jane dropped on the couch without regard to her posture or the jarring impact of her body against the furniture. Since the night in the bar, Maura had had the pleasure of the other woman's company most every night. It wasn't often Maura found someone who would listen and at least attempt to understand what she was sharing. It made the companionship something Maura looked forward to, even if Daddy was a little hesitant to see someone new slipping into his little girl's life. He could be so overly sentimental, given that she was the elder of his progeny, and he was not as protectively oriented toward Colin. Then again, in many ways, her father was a stereotypical human atavism hung up in patriarchal, patrilineal cultural conditioning.

"You're going to ruin your skeletal integrity that way. You should carefully bend and fold yourself into the resting space provided," Maura said, earning what she was coming to view as Jane's indulgent look her way.

"That's really one of the least of my worries, Maura," she answered, but reached up swiftly when Maura came over and handed her the beer that Maura had begun keeping on hand for her. 

"And what kind of worries outweigh your future ability to exist without low- to mid-level pain in every motion you make?" Maura asked her, voice light and cheerful as she settled with decorum on the other end of the couch, tucking her feet up and then sipping the wine she'd carefully carried in her other hand.

Jane's gaze didn't shift away from Maura's features, but the depth of it changed, and Maura paid attention to that. Her new friend had troubles, and without meaning to, Maura's eyes flicked to the patterning of the scars visible on the back of the hand holding the bottle of beer. They intrigued her, reminded her of the scarring typical to those who reenacted the crucifixion of Christ. They also, from the way Jane shifted, holding the bottle just a little different to get the scar out of view, bothered the slender, taller woman.

"Just getting by, not getting caught in any more police stings, and hoping I don't shoot my mouth off to the wrong person," Jane said, forcing a laugh. Maura wished she knew what made the woman shutter in and hide herself so much, even as she was surprised at herself for that reaction.

"I will grant that you do tend to speak before you fully think through all of the repercussions. Did you honestly believe you could control Mickey if he had lost his temper on Monday?" Maura asked her.

Jane snorted. "Well, yeah. Besides, he insulted you, was bucking into your personal space, and generally being an ass," Jane continued.

Why did it matter to Maura that Jane's reasoning revolved around her own safety? Maura pushed at the concept in her own mind, analyzing it, breaking it down. Was she suffering from an unusual breakout of humanistic social needs?

Had she found a human being that actually mattered the way family did? Maybe it was because Jane wasn't just using her to find Daddy's good graces. Jane had shown up in a small crisis, but once the moment had cooled, Jane had remained, sitting down with her the next night the bar had been open. Maura remembered that she'd begun the conversation with a breakdown of gun violence by decade, and Jane had just listened without rolling her eyes or feigning politeness. She'd even argued back intelligently, and they had drifted to other conversation topics, staying out until last call.

Maura was not certain what to do with a friend, a woman who was close to her in age, smart in ways that were a little less theoretical and more pragmatic. Inviting her to the apartment had happened most impulsively. Maura had needed to be back there before the end of the night at the club they had met at, and Jane had looked slightly disappointed, leading to Maura inviting her back. This was her third time over, with plans for a movie and popcorn, and Maura found that it left her feeling both solidly grounded in the human race, and oddly disconnected because it was so different than her normal pattern with other people.

Granted, most of those had been men interested in their futures.

"Maura," Jane was saying, and the other woman realized that there had been more words said while she was looking at the situation critically. She gave the false smile that was meant to reassure, meant to cover her different way of processing the world, but Jane frowned in response, and reached out to touch Maura's knee. "You okay?"

Maura filtered that word through her mind, thought about herself, her reactions to this woman that had entered her life precipitously, and decided that even if it was unknown territory that it was welcome territory. "Yes, yes I am."

`~`~`~`~`

Jane shifted uncomfortably, then opened her eyes to see the TV on a plain black screen, the DVD player having timed off with no input after the movie ended. She glanced down, and there was definitely a tousled head against her midriff. She thought back, and slowly recalled that Maura had started babbling about the inanity of the plot of the movie, and Jane had hushed her with a shoulder rub that had relaxed both of them.

Jane didn't want to move. Under the confident words about so many facts that Jane just could not help but listen and learn, there was a woman who was lonely and vaguely vulnerable. She had learned, mostly by observation, that while Maura helped doctor the ones who got hurt and tended to not truly think about the violence of her father's people, she didn't seem to fit in as well as Colin did.

Jane shifted just slightly, and Maura adjusted how she had fallen over on her, allowing both to continue their rest on the couch, Jane's last conscious thoughts being that she was going to hate to lose this kind of quiet when she finally found the lead they needed to break the growing mafia war.

`~`~`~`~`

Frost was first on the scene, having called in the sudden onset of gunfire being exchanged behind O'Malley's Pub and Grille. He saw Jane briefly, her tall frame tucked over a smaller woman, escorting her out of the bar where Frost could now hear more guns being fired. He'd been on hand, and his backup wasn't far because Jane had said Colin had shown up at Maura's the night before, looking very nervous. The siblings hadn't said much out loud, because of Jane, but Jane's tip had paid off. Frost purposefully cut off the uniformed cop trying to halt the two women, managing to make it look like a complete accident.

With any luck, the quick presence of police on the scene would keep the death toll down, and possibly net witnesses. Frost wasn't going to hold his breath, and wished Jane would find a solid chink in the Doyle armor to exploit.

"Detective! We've got at least one man down inside, and several more injuries. Still making certain everyone's been disarmed!" one of the riot police said, wearing full protection gear.

"Make sure the EMTs can get to them fast," Frost ordered, and then calmly went to the side of the alley to throw up, just to get it out of his system before he had to deal with any bodies.

`~`~`~`~`

Jane watched over the other woman with concern and worry once the man had left from bringing the news.

"I know, I knew even as... I knew." Maura turned dry, unseeing eyes up to her friend, and Jane bit at her lip, hating this.

"It was pretty instant."

"I know, I saw the entry and exit wounds. The vector indicated there had been some internal ricochet, which would have torn up too much internal tissue," Maura said, slow and without letting her emotions tear through her control, Jane noted.

"Colin's in custody," Jane said slow and carefully. "Picked up on outstanding tickets, as a protective measure," she added, and waited for the dots to connect.

Maura's eyes widened only marginally, as that was not in the report her father's lieutenant had brought. And the police had been arriving so fast at the pub...

"You... You're..."

"Hoping to protect as many people as I can, here, Maura. And if you, if Colin, would help...your father's death could serve to do that. If you won't come and help me, do it to be certain O'Rourke doesn't get away with this?"

Jane could feel the plank under her feet, teetering and so precarious, as Maura processed the fact Jane was a cop, and that Jane was holding out an offer like this in the face of her loss.

"Was it all lies? The movies, the closeness?" Maura asked, just as void of emotion as before.

"It should have been," Jane admitted, eyes never wavering from Maura's face. "But you're...different. If I had gotten your brother's attention, I'm not sure I would feel like this right now."

Maura searched her face, looking deep into her eyes, and then she reached out, taking Jane's hand. "If I do this, if I get Colin to help, you'll tell me about these," she said, voice firm and commanding in her own way, thumb on the scar at the back of the hand, forefinger on the one incised in the palm.

Jane flinched, but then she nodded, slow and certain. "My pains for your secrets," she agreed.

"Then we'd better go now, before the retaliation starts," Maura said, and her hand moved fully into Jane's, a clasp of a promise, and an anchor on a new life.

Jane just squeezed her hand and led the way.